SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: [Sigia-l] Google Search Results UI Has Changed?
Re: [Sigia-l] Google Search Results UI Has Changed?
I enjoyed reading your blog at:
I entirely agree with your assessment of the utility of tabs.
Christina said, "... From Amazon to
> PCWorld, they behave as the files in our file cabinet would. They classify
> and contain different stuff."
Their use as containers of different things is endemic, both in the real
world and the virtual world within which we work. Tabbed file folders
contain unique sets of documents. Tabbed dividers in file cabinets separate
unique groups of documents; in recipe boxes, unique groups of
recipes--generally of a particular classification.
In my experience, tabbed dialog boxes present panels containing groups of
related controls, as do tabbed panels and palettes. I think tabs are a
wonderful navigation device on the Web, where they represent high-level
groupings of different types of information or products.
With all my real-world and virtual-world experience of tabs, it never
occurred to me that Google's tabs might present different views of the same
information. I've never had occasion to use most of them. I'm sure you
explored their site thoroughly for the sake of competitive analysis. :-) I
was astonished at the following:
Christina said, "However, on Google, they act as lenses. Let me explain what
I mean by
> "lenses." Once you have done a search, you can see the information
> differently by applying a tab/lens to it. "See images", "see groups", "see
> directory listings". If you click the tabs from the front page, it seems
> like they are behaving like proper tabs and take you to a whole new place
> where you can search a theorectically exclusive collection of stuff. But
> if you search first, it appears they more like night goggles, telescopes
> and microscopes-- lenses that let you see very different things, yet,
> still the same matter."
What I find so ludicrous is that we're definitely entering the world of
mixed metaphors here. Tabs, as generally used, provide a clear metaphor, but
the idea of "lenses" being analogous to tabs just engenders confusion. I'd
rather think about how the metaphor of lenses might provide stimulus to the
design of unique widgets that provide different views on the same
information. Food for thought.
Christina said, "I have had folks tell me that tabs-as-lenses is the proper
Sorry to whoever those folks were, but this just seems goofy to me. That
mixed metaphor thing again.
Christina said, "Would it be worth using a completely different widget for
> concepts "these are different ways of seeing the same idea/item" and
> "these are different things altogether"?"
Christina said, "And if it is worth separating lens behavior from tab
behavior, what would
> such a widget look like?"
A lens mayhap? ;-) I can think of an application for this already.
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: Thu Mar 11 2004 - 07:50:51 EST